{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from October 2010

24th October 2010 23:35

Versatile defender signs
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 14 Oct 2010
David Holdsworth has strengthened his defence today with the addition of Fleetwood Town defender Simon Grand who joins on loan until 01 January 2011.


The versatile defender, who can play in every position along the back line, will be in contention for a place in Saturday's line up at home to Darlington.

The 26 year old began his career at Rochdale and soon won the club's Player of the Year award.Spells followed at Carlisle, Grimsby, Morecombe, Northwich and Fleetwood.

After putting pen to paper, Grand said: "I have been lucky enough to play a few times here [at Field Mill] and now this is a place where I will look to play regularly for Mansfield.

"I would describe myself as a centre half, but am willing to play in any position," he added.

Grand is also eligible to play for us in the FA Cup, unless we are drawn against Fleetwood in a future round.

Meanwhile, midfielder Matt Somner looks set to join Altrincham on loan.


Simon Grand video interview, Thu 14 Oct 2010 --->

David Holdsworth video interview, Thu 14 Oct 2010 --->


Day signing complete
mansfieldtown.net, Fri 15 Oct 2010
The loan signing of Rhys Day from Oxford United has been completed in the last hour.


The 28-year-old put pen to paper on a deal which will see him at Field Mill until 04 January 2011.

Manager David Holdsworth said: "Rhys is a very good, solid central defender and having let two boys go out on loan, it's important we have the right resources in the right areas.

"He is a strong character and good organiser and knows Mansfield Town through and through.

"He is of the right age and he has done it in this league before."

Day will wear shirt number 33. Meanwhile, the one month loan signing of Matt Somner to Altrincham was completed last night


David Holdsworth audio interview --->

Mansfield Town are set to include new defensive loan signings Rhys Day and Simon Grand in their starting XI.

Goalkeeper Alan Marriott remains sidelined with a groin injury, while striker Adam Smith serves the final game of a three-match ban.

Darlington midfielder Paul Terry has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a kneeligament injury.

Defender Paul Arnison (stomach strain) is a doubt, but striker Liam Hatch is set to return from illness.

Mansfield manager David Holdsworth told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"He [Rhys Day] brings a bit of quality and his availability has only just come about.

"He brings a leadership quality and is very vocal and can certainly add to the quality of the squad.

"I think he's a threat from set-plays, but ultimately I am looking for him to influential in our defending box."


Day to make Field Mill return
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 14 Oct 2010
Commanding centre-half Rhys Day is expected to make a sensational return to Field Mill, we can announce.


The 28 year old is expected to put pen to paper on a loan deal from Oxford United, which will last until 04 January 2011.

Day is no stranger to Stags fans, having made over 110 appearances between 2002-06. The Welshman also appeared in our 2004 Division Three Play-Off final defeat to Huddersfield and subsequently signed for Aldershot. Day has since celebrated promotion to the Football League last season with Oxford United.

Manager David Holdsworth said: "Rhys is a very good, solid central defender and having let two boys go out on loan, it's important we have the right resources in the right areas.

"He is a strong character and good organiser and knows Mansfield Town through and through.

"He is of the right age and he has done it in this league before."

The deal is expected to be completed tomorrow morning. The news comes just two hours after fellow defender Simon Grand signed on loan from Fleetwood Town.


Mansfield boss Holdsworth beats brother to signing of Day
Evening Post
DAVID Holdsworth today revealed he beat brother Dean to the punch in bringing Rhys Day to Mansfield Town.


The central defender is back at Field Mill having agreed a loan deal from Oxford United until January with the view to a permanent move.

Day, 28, was also being tracked by Newport County who are under the charge of Holdsworth's sibling.

But the Stags boss moved quickly to ensure Day will be heading to north Notts – where he made 121 appearances between 2002 and 2006 – instead of to his native South Wales.

"We have stepped in ahead of two or three, maybe four other clubs to get Rhys," said Holdsworth.

"I had him sat down in front of me last summer but at that time we couldn't afford to sign him.

"Had another week gone by then he could well have been snapped up by someone else, probably Newport, but I have got the better of my brother on this one!"

Holdsworth's side go in search of their first win in five when Darlington visit Field Mil this afternoon.

He says Mansfield are not panicking after their disappointments of late and are still well placed.

Holdsworth said: "I'm not used to losing and don't expect it. You look at the games individually and collectively and we should have more points.

"But we will stick to the plan, as we are only four points off third place coming into the third week of October."


BBC audio interview with Simon Grand --->

Simon Grand and Rhys Day agree Mansfield Town moves
BBC.co.uk, 14 Oct 2010
Mansfield have signed Fleetwood Town defender Simon Grand on loan until January, and are set to bring in Oxford defender Rhys Day in a similar deal.

Grand, 26, has joined with a view to a permanent move.

Manager David Holdsworth told BBC Radio Nottingham: "He's a tough guy, he will add another bit of quality.

"He can play left-back, so he's a versatile defender. He won't accept second best and he likes putting his head in where it hurts."

Grand said: "It's come from me not being able to break into the team at Fleetwood.

"So, when the opportunity arose to come and get some games at such a good club, I couldn't afford to turn it down."

Former Stags defender Day, 28, has struggled this season with a knee injury and is yet to feature for the U's in League Two.

Oxford manager Chris Wilder told BBC Radio Oxford: "It's good for him and good for Mansfield.

"They're getting a really decent player, who's won the league with Aldershot and got promoted with us, so I wish him all the best."


Grand out to revive Football League career after Mansfield switch
Evening Post

AS Simon Grand cavorted around the Field Mill pitch with the champagne flowing, life could not have tasted much sweeter.


The defender's Carlisle United side had just secured a last minute equaliser through now Notts County striker Kawl Hawley to claim – a 1-1 draw with Mansfield Town and, with it, promotion from League Two.

Having been an integral part of the Football Conference winning side the year previously, it meant Grand was enjoyed a second successive promotion with the Cumbrians.

At that point, now some four-and-a-half years ago, the Chorley-born player hoped to establish himself as a League One player at Brunton Park.

Instead, he fell down the pecking order at Carlisle and eventually moved on to Grimsby and Morecambe before dropping into non-league football with Northwich Victoria.

Last season he moved on to Fleetwood Town in the latter stages of the campaign and helped them to win the Blue Square North play-off final against Alfreton.

But this season Grand has played just four games for the Cod Army – and out of position at left-back.

As a result, he was more than happy to be lured south to join Mansfield Town, whose ambitions have been re-invigorated by the fresh investment of new owner John Radford.

The 26-year-old sees massive potential at Field Mill, fuelled by the signings of Adam Murray and the expected arrival of Rhys Day today, together with the likelihood of more new faces in the January transfer window.

The Lancastrian genuinely believes that he can regain his status as a Football League player at Mansfield, having signed on loan until January with a view to a permanent move.

"I have been lucky enough to have played here a few times and generally been successful, but that's not something I want to happen when teams come here now," said Grand.

"I remember that day we won promotion with Carlisle when we had Michael Bridges playing for us and Paul Simpson was the manager.

"I also remember scoring for Northwich against Mansfield, but now I'm looking to pop up with the odd goal for them rather than against, as a defender who scores goal is useful for a manager.

"The gaffer has brought me in to add something and it is up to me to perform.

"I haven't come in expecting to play and I'm prepared to fight for my place in the side.

"Even without the new chairman coming in, Mansfield have a reputation as being a big club and I see them as a Football League club.

"The gaffer wants to be there in the future and so do I. I have dropped out of the Football League but I want to get back in and I can do that at Mansfield."

Grand is a former team-mate of Murray at Carlisle and also played with Paul Connor at Rochdale in the early stages of his career.

He admits it will not be easy for the Stags to claim a play-off place at the end of the season with so many clubs hoping to be in the mix.

Grand said: "There are probably five or six teams who are on a level.

"Teams have been picking up points here, there and everywhere and no one has really had a consistent set of results. It's all about getting on a run."

Grand will hope to be included in the Mansfield squad tomorrow to face Darlington, with the hosts in search of a first win in five.


Day back in double defensive swoop
CHAD.co.uk,Thu Oct 14 2010

DAVID HOLDSWORTH today made a bold double swoop to shore up his defensive department with the return of former Stags star Rhys Day (pictured) from Oxford United and the addition of Fleetwood Town defender Simon Grand who both join on loan until 1st January with a view to longer deals.


Holdsworth is unhappy after a spell of one point from four games, conceding nine goals and has moved quickly to strengthen his back line options ahead of Saturday's tough visit of Darlington (3pm).

Day (28) is back at Field Mill after four years away.

The 6ft 1ins former Wales U19 and U21 international began his career at Manchester City but never played for the Citizens, having loan spells at Blackpool and Stags where he played eight times before making a permanent move in 2003.

He made a further 95 appearances, helping take Stags to the League Two play-off final at Cardiff in May 2004. But two of the following seasons saw him plagued with injury problems.

In 2006 he signed for Aldershot, playing 90 times and, as skipper, led them back into the League, and last year joined Oxford United where he has until next summer left on his contract.

He has been injured recently but has just played a couple of reserve games to regain some sharpness.

Versatile defender Grand (26), who can play in every position along the back line, began his career at Rochdale and soon won the club's Player of the Year award.

Chorley-born Grand was a regular at Spotland until former Stags boss Steve Parkin arrived and he was dropped, moving on to join Carlisle United during their time in the Conference.

By the time the 6ft 1ins defender left two years later they were on League One, Grand moving on to Grimsby Town in January 2007 on loan. He has great memories of Field Mill as that was where Carlisle clinched and celebrated one of their promotions

He signed an 18-month deal two weeks later but after only seven appearances, he was released in the May of that year.

Since then he has played at Morecambe and Northwich Victoria, playing 63 games for the Vics, and this summer linked up with Conference newcomers Fleetwood, playing against Mansfield in August in the Fleet's 3-0 success, one of only two games he has played there.

After putting pen to paper, Grand said: “I have been lucky enough to play a few times here (at Field Mill) and now this is a place where I will look to play regularly for Mansfield.

“I would describe myself as a left-footed centre half, but am willing to play in any position,” he added.

“The reputation of Mansfield Town is enough to drag players here without the current excitement of a new owner and the ambitions they have.

“Mention Mansfield to anyone and they are thought of as a Football League club and that is where they want to be in the future.

“I want to get my career back into the League too and if that means coming here then I am very willing to do so.

“I have played against some of the players here a few times in the past and I was at Carlisle with Adam Murray and with Paul Connor at Rochdale so I do know one or two quite well.”

Grand, who scored against the Stags for Northwich two season ago, is also eligible to play for Mansfield in the FA Cup, unless the Stags are drawn against Fleetwood in a future round.

Manager Holdsworth said: “Rhys Day is a very good, solid defender and, at 28, has a wealth of experience for his age. He is a strong character who organises, has a very good voice and he knows Mansfield through and through

“I have moved quickly at the right time to bring him in as three or four other clubs were interested. In another week he would probably have been snapped up by Newport!

“I had Rhys sat here in my office last summer but I couldn't do anything at that time. Now I have been able to bring a quality defender to the club.”

On Grand, he added: “When my teams have played against Simon in the past he has always been a tough customer. He is a bit of a warrior and shows that in his make-up.

“Due to another signing they had made I thought this might be the right time to ask and I am pleased to get him here.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Matt Somner looks set to join Altrincham on loan a day after Alfreton Town took Tom Naylor on loan.

Stags' main worries for Saturday's visit revolve around strikers Rob Duffy and Keigan Parker who are both missing training, nursing knocks from last weekend. And midfielder Kyle Nix, even though he has five minutes as a substitute for England C in midweek, is still struggling to regain full fitness after a virus, while a couple of others players are at home with a cold.

Nevertheless, Stags will be hoping to bounce back on Saturday after their poor last Field Mill outing against a Wimbledon side who bagged five goals, the worst defeat of Holdsworth's entire managerial career.

“We have to start getting more clean sheets,” said Holdsworth. “Darlington expect to do well and some of their recent results will be a disappointment to manager Mark Cooper.

“Knowing his management style they will be fairly direct but I respect that and we are looking forward to it.”

Holdsworth will also be hoping for full backing from the home fans after a section of the away support chanted against him and midfielder Gary Mills near the end of the Rushden defeat, just two weeks to the day Stags went top!

“I know 24 hours is a long time in football, let alone two weeks,” he said. “But we had people making ridiculous comments needlessly. We will stick to our plan. We are only four points off third spot by the third week in October which is a good position.

“Most fans are behind us and I have had some lovely supportive e-mails this week saying it was only a minority.

“At Rushden until the 80th minute our fans were absolutely outstanding but for some reason in the last 10 minutes they vented their frustrations, maybe fuelled by different things. But we are totally focussed on our jobs and the players need support and the club need support.”


New defensive duo can shore up Mansfield defence, claims boss
Evening Post
DAVID Holdsworth believes his double defensive swoop can help Mansfield Town put their recent defensive woes behind them.


The Stags have sealed a loan deal until the New Year for Fleetwood Town central defender Simon Grand.

And former favourite Rhys Day will leave Oxford United to sign a similar deal this morning, having picked up some vital minutes in a Us reserve game against Colchester on Wednesday.

Mansfield had one of the best defensive records in the league until their 5-2 drubbing by AFC Wimbledon in their last home game.

Holdsworth was also unhappy with Riushden's early goal last week that proved to be the winner.

As a consequence, he has moved quickly to secure Grand, 26, and Day, 28, who will be in contention to start tomorrow's home clash with Darlington.

"Simon is a player with the mentality that he doesn't want to get beaten and whenever he's played against us he's proved a tough customer," said Holdsworth.

"Rhys has big experience and was part of a promotion-winning side last season.

"He is a strong character and good organiser and knows Mansfield Town through and through from his previous spell here.

"We have let in six goals in our last two games which is unhealthy for us. Although I didn't single anyone out for the goals we conceded in the Wimbledon game, I was annoyed with what happened.

"I didn't enjoy letting in five goals – it was the first time in my managerial career."

Matt Somner has joined Altrincham on loan having turned down a similar offer from Gainsborough Trinity.

Alan Marriott's operation has been a success and he is set for rehabilitation sessions at Lilleshall.


Defender will make Stags' Day by re-signing for the club
Evening Post
CENTRAL defender Rhys Day is poised to re-join Mansfield Town from Oxford United.


The 28-year-old will join the Field Mill playing staff tomorrow on a loan that will take him through to January.

Day first joined the Stags on loan from Manchester City in 2002 and remained with the club until 2006.

The Welshman went on to become a crowd favourite in helping the club to the 2004 League Two play-off final at Cardiff, where they lost to Huddersfield Town on penalties.

Day made 121 appearances and scored 14 goals in his previous stint at Mansfield.

The Bridgend-born defender was a target of manager David Holdsworth's last summer having helped Aldershot Town back into the Football League at the end of the 2007-2008 season.

Day will be permitted to play in the FA Cup for Mansfield, except in the event of the Stags being drawn against Oxford.

"Rhys is a very good, solid central defender and having let two boys go out on loan, it's important we have the right resources in the right areas," said boss Holdsworth.

"He is a strong character and good organiser and knows Mansfield Town through and through.

"He is of the right age and he has done it in this league before."

Day will be the second arrival is as many days after Simon Grand joined on loan from Fleetwood today.


Rhys set to join the Stags
oufc.co.uk, Thu 14 Oct 2010
Defender Rhys Day is set to sign for Mansfield Town on loan.


Rhys, 28, played 90 minutes for the reserves at Colchester last night and is now fit again after a knee problem in pre-season but with Leigh Franks doing well since coming into the side, Mark Creighton and Harry Worley available and Jake Wright coming back soon Rhys has found opportunities limited and will join the Stags on a three month loan. The welsh centre half will need little introduction to Mansfield fans after over 100 games for them between 2002 and 2006

Boss Chris Wilder said:

"Rhys has done ever so well for us and worked very hard to get fit again. He needs games and his way into the team has been blocked so the loan will be great for him and I am sure he will do very well at Mansfield"


Stags make loan swoop
Evening Post
MANSFIELD Town today clinched the loan signing of Simon Grand.


The 26-year-old defender has joined the Stags on loan from Fleetwood Town until Christmas, with a view to a permanent move to Field Mill.

Grand has made just four appearances for the Cod Army this campaign, but was in their side when they beat the Stags 3-0 earlier in the season.

Grand was previously with Northwich Victoria, where he scored against the Stags in a 2-0 victory over them in April 2009.

He has also plied his trade in the Football League for the likes of Rochdale, Carlisle United and Grimsby Town.


Spotlight on Mansfield Town v Darlington
Evening Post

Mansfield (from): Aksalu, Silk, Grand, C. Smith, Foster, Day, Stonehouse, Sandwith, Cain, Murray, Mills, Thompson, Nix, Istead, Briscoe, Medley, Connor, Parker, Duffy.


Darlington (from): Russell, Austin, Wright, Brown, Arnison, Miller, Hone, G. Smith, Powell, Senior, McReady, Waite, Louis, J. Gray, Lowson, Chandler. Hatch.

Team news: Mansfield hope Kyle Nix will be to play some part after missing last weekend's defeat 1-0 at Rushden with a virus.

Keigan Parker (ankle) and Rob Duffy (hamstring) both missed training yesterday and face a battle to be fit.

Adam Smith serves the last of a three-game suspension, while Alan Marriott (groin) is a long-term absentee.

Darlington's Paul Terry (cruciate) is out for the season while Paul Arnison (stomach) is struggling.

But the Quakers hope to welcome back Liam Hatch from illness.

One to watch: Jefferson Louis. The former Mansfield striker is on loan from Gainsborough having already played against the Stags for Wrexham, Crawley and Rushden since leaving Field Mill.

Manager: Mark Cooper. Vastly experienced at this level having bossed both Tamworth and Kettering has come increasingly under fire after Darlington's stuttering start to the season.


Cain out to win race for regular first team slot at Mansfield
Evening Post

NOT for the first time in his life, Ashley Cain is in a hurry.


As a youngster, the Mansfield Town right-winger's need for speed was in his quest to win junior athletics sprint races.

Now the 20-year-old former Coventry City trainee's rush is to establish himself as a regular Field Mill first-team player in quick time.

Cain had to bide his time at the start of the season after joining in the summer. With Louis Briscoe and Steven Istead the preferred early options down the right flank, he was limited to two substitute appearances.

But Adam Smith's three-match suspension has since seen Briscoe switch flanks and the diminutive wide-man given the nod for games with AFC Wimbledon and Rushden and Diamonds.

Both have ended in defeats, meaning Cain is doubly determined to impress in the home game with Darlington this afternoon ahead of Smith's scheduled return for next week's FA Cup match with FC Halifax Town.

"I have had to wait for a while for my chance," said Cain. "I was definitely hoping to be in the side at the start having played quite a lot in pre-season.

"But the manager had his reasons for picking the team as he did and was just waiting for the right time to give me a go.

"It is something I have experienced before at Coventry from the age of about 17 when I was on the bench quite a bit.

"Obviously being a bit older now having turned 20 I'm expecting to get a few more opportunities.

"I suppose it is easier when you come into a team that is winning, but you can't pick and choose when you come in.

"Even though we lost the first two games I played in my performances have been ok. Once you get your chance the whole point is to try to keep your shirt.

"I have played a handful of games, but that is not enough for me.

"I have to prove I deserve to stay in the team. I believe I'm a good player and want to prove my worth to the team."

Cain has shown flashes of his ability in the games he has started.

He helped tee-up Paul Connor's goal against AFC Wimbledon and also put over some inviting crosses against Rushden last weekend.

He said: "Going at people is a massive part of my game. Every winger has a different approach, some are steady and prefer to hold their position.

"But I like to run at people, use my pace to get past them and then get balls into the box. We have got big strikers like Paul Connor and Rob Duffy who will thrive if we can get the right service in to them."

Mansfield have gone four games without a win since they beat Eastbourne 4-0 at Field Mill in late September.

Cain senses a will among his team-mates to put that right.

"There are always ups and downs over the course of the season," he said.

"But a lot of the boys are up for this game because we realise we need to get back to form. It's a massive game.

"It's understandable that the fans have been frustrated – they are going to be if we aren't winning games.

"They pay their money and we want to win for them because we know it puts smiles on faces."


Stags players will be inspired to new heights, says winger
Evening Post, 14 Oct 2010, By matt halfpenny

ASHLEY Cain believes the potential influx of new signings at Mansfield Town can inspire the current squad to new heights.


The Stags have made a solid start to the season and put themselves in play-off contention.

But they have lost their way slightly since the club was taken over by John Radford, losing three of their last four games.

That form has led to suggestions in some quarters that the likelihood of changes to the playing staff has had an unsettling effect.

But winger Cain thinks the timing of the Stags' dip in form is coincidental and actually says the prospect of new blood will up performance levels.

"The takeover has to go to the back of the closet as far as we are concerned. For us it's all about how we are performing and how we can be better," he said.

"All the off-the-field stuff will be sorted in good time. We have to concentrate as players on what we can affect – out on the pitch.

"There are probably going to be new players, but that is the same at every club. There is always pressure to perform.

"People don't strive to improve if they are not put under pressure. This way we all have to work hard to keep our shirts and it might help bring out the best in us.

"Some might not look at it positively, but I think it has to be seen that way."

A total of 12 different Mansfield players have got their names on the scoresheet so far this term and Cain hopes to quickly add his to that list.

"If I can stay in the side, I would like to think I would score before too long," he said.


Murray believes promotion is possible at Mansfield Town
Evening Post, 13 Oct 2010

ADAM Murray is convinced he can make it two Blue Square Bet Premier promotions in as many seasons after joining Mansfield Town.


The midfielder played 21 games in an injury-hit 2009-10 campaign for Oxford United in 2009-10 as the Us clinched their place back in the Football League with a play-off final win over York City.

After starting this season with Luton Town, he is hoping to repeat the trick back at Field Mill for his third spell with the club.

And having seen his new team-mates at close quarters, Murray believes there is the ability and talent to achieve that goal despite recent setbacks.

"I think Mansfield can definitely get promotion this year," he said.

"We've had a good start and if we can stay in and around it over the next ten weeks with the strong teams we have to play, we will be in great shape.

"I don't see why we can't do that because we have a great team here and I have found we have got a solid team spirit.

"There definitely seems an air of optimism at the club now after the takeover and I don't know if that will bring a greater level of expectation.

"But there is a real buzz about the place at the moment – and that can only help."

Murray is on loan at the Stags until January before he will sign permanently until the summer of 2012. He says he is determined to play a key role for the Mansfield, having played for ten different clubs during his career.



Latest | October 2010